Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 25th 2017 Contents A36 sports
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Murray, Kerber top Indian Wells entries
INDIAN WELLS---Andy Murray and An-
gelique Kerber, the world's top-ranked
men's and women's players, head the
field for the BNP Paribas Open, with
every top-10 male and female player
entered for the two-week tournament
in the Southern California desert.
Murray and Kerber will be seeking their
first titles at the combined ATP and WTA
tour event from March 6-19 at the Indian
Wells Tennis Garden.
Four-time tournament winner Roger
Federer returns after missing last year,
while five-time winner Novak Djokovic is
back to defend the title he has won for three
Serena Williams, a finalist last year, will
play for the third straight year after boy-
cotting the event for several years. Her
sister, Venus, also returns for the second
Also in the draws are three-time champi-
on Rafael Nadal, along with former cham-
pions Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki
and Jelena Jankovic.
The tournament offers over $14 million
in prize money. (AP)
Zidane hopes to turn jeers into cheers
MADRID---The negativity coming from
the Real Madrid fans seems to be weigh-
ing on Zinedine Zidane.
Madrid leads the Spanish league, but the
team was jeered despite beating Malaga 2-1
on Saturday. Both goals came from set-piec-
es scored by Sergio Ramos, and they came
less than a week after the team lost at home
to Celta Vigo 2-1 in the first leg of the Copa
del Rey quarterfinals.
"I didn't say if the jeering was fair or not,
just that we are all working hard and we want
the same thing the fans do. There will always
be some booing in this stadium. That will
not change. But we need the fans' support,"
Zidane said yesterday, visibly irritated by the
constant questions surrounding the team's
decaying physical status.
"You would think we are last in the league,
struggling to avoid relegation. Of course we
worry when there's an injury or we lose a
game, but we are upbeat and looking for-
ward to playing well against Celta. It's an
appealing game to play for us. We know we
need to score, and reverse what happened
in the first leg."
The second leg is scheduled for today,
followed by a match against fifth-place
Real Socieded on Sunday at the Santiago
Madrid is still without injured winger
Gareth Bale, who underwent right ankle
surgery last year. The team will also have to
do without defender Marcelo and midfielder
Luka Modric, who were injured on Saturday,
and stopper Raphael Varane won't make the
trip either, though no medical report was
provided to explain his unexpected late cut.
With a one-goal deficit to overcome in
Vigo and an edgy fanbase lurking back in
Madrid, Zidane said it was up to him to
jump-start the team and avoid another
early setback in the Copa del Rey.
Alaves returns to Copa semis
MADRID---Alaves is back in the Copa del
Rey semifinals after 13 years, advancing
2-0 on aggregate against second-division
club Alcorcon after a scoreless home draw
yesterday. It is the fifth time Alaves has
made it to the last four, but the first since
its surprising run as a second-tier club in
the 2003-04 season, when it was eliminated
by eventual champion Real Zaragoza. It has
never reached the final.
Today also, Atletico Madrid will defend
a 3-0 home win against Eibar.
Tomorrow, two-time defending cham-
pion Barcelona hosts Real Sociedad after a
1-0 away win. (AP)
Defending champ Ivory
Coast out without a win
PORT-GENTIL---Ivory Coast didn't even
make it past the group stage in its de-
fense of the African Cup of Nations in
Gabon as it crashed out without winning
a game yesterday.
Ivory Coast needed to beat Morocco in the
last round of matches in Group C to make the
quarterfinals but lost 1-0 to follow Algeria
out of the African championship in Gabon ---
two big teams gone in the space of 24 hours.
Instead, Congo topped the group with a
colorful 3-1 win over Togo in Port-Gentil,
where the Congolese players danced in front
of their fans for every one of their goals, and
again at fulltime.
Congo and Morocco went through and
their quarterfinal opponents will be de-
cided on Wednesday on the last day of the
Ivory Coast, with two draws to start its
title defense, was completely flat in Oyem
and outsmarted by Morocco coach Herve
Renard, who guided the Ivorians to the title
two years ago.
Substitute Rachid Aliou scored Moroc-
co's goal with a curling long-range shot on
a counterattack, deciding a cagey game in
which neither team produced an impressive
Aliou's curler confirmed Ivory Coast's
elimination and continued the recent curse
of the champion at the African Cup: In the
last five tournaments, the titleholder has
struggled badly, or not even made it to the
tournament at all. Egypt, winner in 2010,
didn't qualify in 2012. Zambia went out
without winning a game in 2013. Nigeria
didn't qualify in 2015. And now Ivory Coast.
The most compelling performances in
Group C came from Congo, a giant of Af-
rican soccer in the late 1960s and early 70s
that fell on real hard times.
Congo finished third two years ago,
though, and could be a dangerous challenger
in the knockout stages, especially with Ivory
Coast, Algeria, and Gabon all gone.
Congo led Togo in Port-Gentil with a first-
half goal from Junior Kabananga, who has
scored in every one of Congo's games at the
tournament. Ndombe Mubele lobbed over
Togo substitute goalkeeper Cedric Mensah
for a 2-0 lead early in the second half.
Togo, with only a long shot at qualifying
for the quarters, pulled it back to 2-1 through
Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba.
Congo was confirmed as group winner
and a team to watch when Paul-Jose Mpoku
struck a sweet free kick that soared toward
the right corner of the goal and bounced
down off the crossbar and over the goal-
Congo's, Chancel Mangulu Mbemba, centre, challenges Togo's Razak Boukarir, right, during
the African Cup of Nations Group C football match at the Stade de Port-Gentil, Gabon,
yesterday. Congo won 3-1. AP PHOTO
Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters (11) goes up for a
shot against Golden State Warriors center JaVale
McGee during the second half of an NBA basketball
game, Monday night in Miami. Waiters had 33 points
as the Heat defeated Warriors 105-102. AP Photo
Warriors, Cavs suffer
MIAMI---Dion Waiters' 3-pointer with 0.6
seconds left capped his 33-point effort as
the Miami Heat beat Golden State 105-102
on Monday night to end the Warriors' sev-
en-game winning streak.
The Heat wasted a 10-point lead in the final four
minutes, and Kevin Durant tied the game on a dunk
with 11.7 seconds left. With no timeouts, Wait-
ers walked the ball up the court and drilled what
became the game-winner over Klay Thompson.
Golden State star Stephen Curry missed a corner
jumper as time expired, though referee Brian Forte
signaled his attempt was a two-point try anyway.
Durant scored 27, Thompson had 22 and Curry
added 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for
the Warriors (38-7).
PELICANS 124, CAVALIERS 122
NEW ORLEANS---Terrence Jones filled in bril-
liantly for injured All-Star Anthony Davis, scoring
a season-high 36 points and grabbing 11 rebounds
while powering New Orleans to the surprising
Jrue Holiday add-
ed 33 points and 10
assists for the Peli-
cans, and Langston
Galloway capped a
12-point night with a
clean steal on LeBron
James' drive in the fi-
nal minute, preventing
the Cavs from erasing a deficit they had trimmed
from 22 late in the first half to three with 1:32 left
in the game.
Kyrie Irving scoring 35 of his 49 points in the
second half, but Cleveland fell to its fifth loss in
seven games. James had 26 points, 12 assists and
10 rebounds, and Kevin Love scored 22 points.
THUNDER 97, JAZZ 95
SALT LAKE CITY---Russell Westbrook hit a pull-
up jumper with 1.4 seconds left, helping Oklahoma
City stop Utah's six-game win streak.
Westbrook took over down the stretch and
scored 11 of the Thunder's final 13 points after
going cold in the third quarter. He finished with
38 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 22nd
triple-double of the season.
Alec Burks missed the final shot for the Jazz
as time expired. Victor Oladipo scored 18 for
Oklahoma City. Gordon Hayward led Utah with
17 points. (AP)
n Clippers 115, Hawks 105
n Wizards 109, Hornets 99
n Knicks 109, Pacers 103
n Bucks 127, Rockets 114
n Spurs 112, Nets 86
n Kings 109, Pistons 104
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